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Monday, August 15, 2011

37th Annual Virginia Aviation Conference

Tomorrow marks the first day of the 2011 Virginia Aviation Conference in Roanoke, Virginia.

The conference is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Aviation, Virginia Aviation Board, Virginia Airport Operators Council, and the Virginia Aviation Business Association.

This meeting of airport managers, sponsors, consultants, government officials and others with an interest in aviation in Virginia features a Virginia Aviation Board Meeting, special speakers, exhibitors, and the Virginia Aviation Awards banquet to honor those who have made significant contributions to aviation in Virginia.

We will do our best to keep you informed throughout the week if you are unable to attend! For more information visit our website.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A closer look at Virginia locals in Oshkosh

A week ago today we were packing up from EAA’s AirVenture 2011 to return and feverishly prepare for Virginia’s own Aviation Conference in Roanoke, Virginia. Here’s a closer look at the Virginia locals we had the privilege of learning more about. In no particular order:


CSC Duats
Chantilly, VA – Terry and Alan, with CSC, were at AirVenture representing the new flight planner system Golden Eagle FlightPrep, created to replace Cirrus software. The old software, which has been used for the last eight years, was an offline and dial-up flight planner. Golden Eagle FlightPrep was developed to take advantage of the latest internet online flight planning capability, and includes new features: weather overlay, current TFRs, richer flight planning charts, while it retains the functionality of the original Cirrus software.


Avionics Systems
Leesburg, VA – David Buckwalter was showcasing custom instrument panels just across the aisle from us. What makes this Virginia business unique is that the whole process starts with a drawing and communication remains open throughout the entire process. Even after the completed instrument panel is delivered, they are only a phone call or email away.


Butler Parachute Systems
Roanoke, VA – Butler Parachutes has been in Virginia since 1995, however the company itself has been around for 32 years. Both Tim McCord (left) and Todd Fowler (right) told us all about how Butler is the only parachute company in the world that can build a custom harness, custom fit a container seat, and is the industry leader in parachute canopy design.

UMA
Dayton, VA – UMA began as a company that manufactured medical equipment and then in the 1940’s diversified its business by developing aircraft instruments for the war effort. The business moved to Virginia in 1978 and still continues to manufacture both medical and aircraft equipment, with 75% of its total sales being aircraft instrumentation. Ron McIntire and Sharon Rathbun (not pictured) made the trip to Oshkosh to represent UMA and Virginia.


Velasco Enterprises
Ruckersville, VA – This is Gary Velasco (right) and Paul Laidler’s (left) first year at AirVenture representing Virginia and his company Velasco Enterprises, which specializes in hand-painted vintage aircraft nose art from the 20th century. Gary Velasco has become one of the foremost experts on WWII nose art in the United States and is sought after by collectors and museums for his accurate full-scale restorations.


AirFleet Capital
Leesburg, VA – Lezonne Hertz (left) and Megan Darling (right), both Virginia college graduates, represented AirFleet Capital at AirVenture this year. AirFleet Capital, located on the airfield at Leesburg Municipal Airport, is an aircraft financing company that offers loans for private and commercial use aircraft nationwide.


ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants
Fairfax, VA – Corporate headquarters for ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants is located in Virginia, which puts them on our Virginia businesses list. ExxonMobil’s industry leading products need no explanation; however, Steve Sunseri (left), Dave Goshorn (center) and Mike Schaefer (right) get recognition as representatives at AirVenture 2011.

Aviator’s Bookshelf
Richmond, VA – Doug Henderson’s out-of-print aviation books can be found in the FlyMarket at AirVenture. Eighty percent of his business comes from AirVenture once a year, while the rest of the time his collection can be found for sale online. For the past 24 years Mr. Henderson has been collecting items from estate sales and storage lockers. He sells mostly books but has displays of antiques and old pilot jumpsuits. His family pitches in during the event, pictured above is his daughter Laura Henderson showing off some of the merchandise.


The Air Care Alliance
Nationwide – The Fly4Life theme was first seen at AirVenture 2009, when EAA recognized the work of volunteer pilots. Volunteers and staff members from all over the nation take turns staffing the Air Care Alliance exhibit. Unfortunately when we visited we didn’t run into any locals, but volunteer pilots Stan Teter (left) and Doug Vincent (center), from Oklahoma, and Tom Johnson (right), from Ohio, told us all about their patient transports, disaster relief efforts and more.

Tecnam
Ashland, VA – Phil Soloman, CEO of Tecnam North American, a divistion of Tecnam based out of Italy, has been full time with Heart of Virginia Aviation since 2005. Tecnam is the world’s largest manufacturer of light aircraft and this year sponsored EAA AirVenture.

UNITE
Nationwide –UNITE is the home of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems National Industry TEam, whose vision is to create a supportive environment for unmanned aircraft and systems in both public and civil applications that operate routinely. Randy Kenagy with Aviation Mangement Associates, located in Alexandria, Virginia was representing UNITE. He showed us several current models of unmanned aircraft and explained the company’s priority to gain access to the National Airspace System (NAS).

Helicopter Association International
Alexandria, VA – The Helicopter Association International (HAI) has been providing support and services for its members for more than 60 years, however this is their debut at AirVenture. Matt Zuccaro, president of HAI, wanted to thank Randy Burdette for his support and for getting them out to Oshkosh for their first appearance. HAI’s first year HELI-CENTER had a second level to view the air shows and was a big hit for HAI members and guests.

TSNM/GA
Arlington, VA – Those initials stand for Transportation Sector Network Management/General Aviation. This was then broken down as the federal government’s principle security for general aviation. The work load is separated into six territories in which eight inspectors manage. Michael Petrone (left), Jack Heath (center) and Lisa Borbe-Haught (right) were representing the Transportation Security Administration and qualify as a Virginia business in Oshkosh.


Virginia Resident
Randy Nageotte of Stafford, Virginia was attending AirVenture to sell his Air Cam. He picked up two kits at Sun n' Fun in 1997 and now he's ready to let go of one of them. Randy owns an auto repair shop in Northern Virginia and says flying is his first love "next to my wife".

Virginia Resident
Margy and Ron Natalie of Chantilly, Virginia attended AirVenture as volunteers to work the flight line. Working the flight line means airshow crowd control and getting planes in and out safely. Margy says it's ironic because she works at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center as the Volunteer Program Coordinator all year long and then takes off 12 days to come tenting in Oshkosh as a volunteer. Pictured behind them is their Navion.

For more pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vais4flynlovers/

Monday, August 1, 2011

On the road again...

The crew is all packed and ready to hit the road (and skies). Morgan and Carolyn will brave the roads back with our 'Virginia is for Flying Lovers' trailer, while Trevor (our photographer) and myself will battle the airlines, and Randy will hit the skies in his own airplane for a "quick" ride home.

For the next week we will be featuring several Virginia businesses and representatives per day that were in Oshkosh for the EAA AirVenture. Our neighbors from our home away from home!